Hamodia Wins Two Simon Rockower Awards

Hamodia has received two of the prestigious Simon Rockower awards presented by the American Jewish Press Association (AJPA).

The AJPA, established in 1943, is an international organization of English-language Jewish newspapers, magazines and periodicals. Its 141 members represent the gamut of Jewish publishing.

“Rescue Against All Odds: The Heroism of Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus of Philadelphia” by Evelyne Singer, the story of a couple who saved the lives of 50 children on the eve of World War II, placed second for the Jacob Rader Marcus Award for Journalistic Excellence in American Jewish History.

“Art to Heart: The Colors of Caring” by Suri Cohen was the second-place winner for the David Frank Award for Excellence in Personality Profile. Judges remarked that “it is impossible not to like and admire Rabbi Yisroel Tzvi Braunstein after reading Suri Cohen’s warm and well-written profile of this learned Rabbi, retired public-school teacher, camp art director, and all-around mentch and mentor. Cohen expertly captures Rabbi Braunstein’s ‘ebullient personality and outsize heart’ by tracing the arc of his life and career, probing his interest in art and music, and illustrating by example his special gifts as a teacher of children and young adults.”

The Rockower Awards, which the AJPA dubs “the Pulitzer Prize of Jewish journalism,” have been given out since 1979. According to director Vannessa Lao, the goal is to “raise awareness of the field of Jewish journalism.”

This year, there were 630 submissions, all of which can only come from member publications, competing for the 22 various award categories.

In 2013, Hamodia placed first for both Excellence in Feature Writing and Special Selections or Supplements.